Thursday, July 14, 2011

Markets in Everything and Antidote to Obamacare: 24/7 Access to MD Consultations via Phone/Video

From the Teladoc website:

1. You wake up one morning with sudden cold-like symptoms: stuffy nose, cough, congestion. You don’t want to miss time at work by sitting in an urgent care or ER waiting room. What to do?

2. Simply log in to your account or call 1-800-Teladoc to request a phone or online video consultation with a Teladoc doctor. You can use Teladoc from home, work, on vacation, or while traveling internationally. The average doctor call back time is 22 minutes. 

3. A U.S. board-certified doctor or pediatrician licensed in your state reviews your Electronic Health Record (EHR), then contacts you, listens to your concerns and asks questions. It's just like an in-person consultation. There is no time limit to the consult. 

4.  The doctor recommends the right treatment for your medical issue. If a prescription is necessary, it's sent to the pharmacy of your choice.

5. Teladoc costs far less than in-person visits: $38 or lower, depending on your plan design. Teladoc charges the credit card you provided when requesting your consultation or your billing information on file.  You can request a receipt for deductibles or reimbursement, if needed. The doctor updates your HIPAA-compliant EHR based upon the consultation. Teladoc is a qualified expense for HSA, FSA and HRA accounts.

MP: Another example of market-based, consumer-driven, convenient and affordable health care delivery as an alternative to government-managed Obamacare.

HT: Greg Ungemach. 

11 Comments:

At 7/14/2011 11:16 PM, Blogger Tiger Coach said...

Do you think this is something the medical community would embrace over having someone miss a day of work... wait in an office... and charge 10x as much for a visit and follow-up?

Is it true that the AMA has a say in how many doctors are admitted into medical programs every year?

thanks for your anticipated comments!!!

Respectfully,
BD

 
At 7/14/2011 11:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

....." A U.S. board-certified doctor or pediatrician licensed in your state reviews your Electronic Health Record (EHR)"

and where does this EHR come from?

would this be by chance an industry standard EHR provided by the "free market"?

or would this more likely be a govt standard?

 
At 7/15/2011 8:15 AM, Blogger drozz said...

less wait, less hassle and polution since one doesn't have to drive to the docs office, businesses would lose less in downtime due to illness, etc.

not a bad idea.

 
At 7/15/2011 8:31 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

tc-

i don't think they have a say in student enrollment.

they control doctor supply at a higher level, that of board exams.

until you are board certified, you really cannot practice in many fields.

they are in the process of increasing the number of years a radiologist has to be an intern because they think there are too many radiologists.

this is the behavior of a guild. even to practice teleradiology from india, you need board certification.

what was originally a group intended to protect patients from quacks has become a guild intent of price fixing.

 
At 7/15/2011 8:56 AM, Blogger Vanessa Shoemaker said...

Can you show me data that proves this servicece is an eligible HSA, HRA, FSA expense?

 
At 7/15/2011 8:59 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Tiger coach,

I believe morganovich is correct that the AMA's influence on licensing boards limits the supply of physicians. But that;s not the only weapon they have.

Medical residencies are primarily funded by Medicare. As I understand it, the AMA successfully lobbied in the 1990s to cap the funding of such residencies. I've read that the AMA has recently reversed its stance on this issue, but funding still has not increased.

The problem, of course, is government interference in the market. If medicare had never started funding medical residencies, medical schools and their customers would have found other means to pay for residency rtraining costs.

 
At 7/15/2011 10:54 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"...A U.S. board-certified doctor or pediatrician licensed in your state"

in a "free market" what is the purpose of the government "license"?

doesn't that licensing essentially restrict the "free market" and add bureaucracy and costs while doing very little else?

 
At 7/15/2011 11:59 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

According to United Health Care:

Teladoc is available in all states except Oklahoma.

Video consultations are not available in Iowa, Louisana, Mass, Minn, and Teladoc's home base Texas.
-----------------------------------

Teladoc's electronic health records partner is Microsoft's Health Vault. Private electronic health care records are a key to lowering health care costs, speedier care and portability for the patient.

 
At 7/15/2011 12:05 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Private electronic health care records are a key to lowering health care costs, speedier care and portability for the patient"

friendly amendment - Private "standardized NATIONAL" HCRs

If there is no standard or the standard is, in effect, multiple standards across providers and across states then the opportunity and benefit is lost.

like cell phones and other radio spectrum frequencies or medical diagnostic codes or interstate highway design and standards - without a national approach - the "standard" is not really a standard.

 
At 7/15/2011 1:06 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Interesting--will the day come that we can hook up monitors to ourselves, pee in a bottle, and get high quality diagnosis over the Internet?

I believe we can already do much of that. The problem is the health care profession wants the gold standard to be the standard.

Also, we insist on keeping people alive past their expiration date.

We also have the problem of the wealthy accessing better quality medical care--it never feels ethical that one child should die and another should live as one had rich parents (except to the GOP stalwarts). So we try to deliver better care to everyone. Very expensive.

I suspect the bulk of medicine could be dispensed by Internet, or by nurses following diagnostic manuals.

 
At 7/15/2011 7:17 PM, Blogger kleht said...

Why would Teledoc change under "Obamacare"? I belong to Kaiser Permanente which has had something similar to Teledoc for quite some time, which is a great way to handle things. And that's not going to change because of the new healthcare rule. So-called Obamacare is still very much a private industry care system. More government involvement, sure, but still privately managed as to the medical care itself.

 

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